|Of Old Friends|
|What: After interrogating one of the criminals responsible for the D&G Chemical incident, Commissioner Gordon calls on the help of an old friend.|
Nightfall has come, and as usual, there are thick clouds piled over the Gotham sky. A cold wind blows from the southwest; signs that a storm is coming. Jim Gordon has been working late, which is altogether not uncommon for him these days, but tonight, he has a special reason for working late. He climbs up onto the roof and lights a cigarette, before walking over toward the large spotlight that rests near the edge of the GCPD Headquarters rooftop.
There he stands for a few silent moments, letting the developing investigation into the D&G Chemicals case sort themselves around in his head. Finally, he walks over to the spotlight and with purpose, throws the switch. Current flows, and preceded by the buzzing of electricity, the spotlight comes to life, casting an all too familiar symbol up against the thick clouds piled high above. Craning his neck upward, Gordon takes another drag from his cigarette before murmuring a silent oath under his breath.
"I hope you're watching, pal."
Jim Gordon's always worked long hours, it's one of the things the two men have in common; they even work them for the same reasons, as far as Gotham's Knight can reason it. Some naysayers in Gotham politics like to insist the decorated police Commissioner made his career on the Batman's back-- Batman would tend to say it's more the other way around. It's been a long time since Gordon was a lieutenant, and every block of Gotham City belonged to the mob. They haven't won the war yet, but the GCPD? They may not always know it, often summoned subtly by spoofed calls and alarms tripped, somewhat ironically, by Jim's own daughter or the Dark Knight himself.. but they're among Batman's closest allies.
It seldom takes him long when that light goes out across the clouds, casting his symbol in relief over most of the city, visible for miles around. When he does dally, it's usually a rather.. hectic night. "Jim." It comes out of the shadows; always a different point, every night this happens. Tonight he's stepping as if out of the base of the spotlight projecting the signal itself, around rather than through the wide beam of light. "What's wrong?" Maybe he reads it in Gordon's body language. Maybe he's just learned it's seldom good news, when it can't wait for him to similarly appear in Jim's office.
It used to always surprise him, when the masked vigilante would step out of the shadows like that. Try as he might, Gordon could never quite place where the Batman was going to appear from. He just didn't have the ear for it, most likely from having spent years on the police force, around sirens, discharging weapons, and the like. However, it no longer surprises him any more. It's just... one of those things.
Turning around to face the crusader, Jim neglects to turn the light off. Another one of those things... if alerting the entire city to Batman's presence, it was always wise not to tip off ne'er-do-wells that he's arrived at the rooftop of Headquarters. Besides... reminding the city as a whole that there /was/ a secret vigilante out to protect them was always a good thing.
"I've got eight men downstairs," says Gordon, his voice slightly beleaguered but nonetheless vigilant and ready to move at a moment's notice. He distinguishes the cigarette upon the rooftop. "All of them implicated in the incident at D&G Chemical, but..." He shakes his head. "I don't think they know what's going on. Seems we have an old 'friend' on the move again." He cocks an eyebrow, expecting Batman to conclude the rest.
Poison Ivy is back.
The long shadows cast through the Gotham night are also one of Batman's staunchest comrades. He paces steadily past the Commissioner at first, stepping to the very edge of the rooftop to cast a scanning eye to the rest of the skyline, out over the surrounding expanse of urban jungle. He's well equipped for it, "One of them is our old friend." The safecracker. Even so. "You're right, though-- they were Ivy's pawns. Exposed to her chemicals and pheromones. I'm just hoping the huge angry plant didn't also start as one of them." It's better not to think about. He and Jim don't really have that luxury, though.
"I tracked Ivy back to an overgrown warehouse near Amusement Mile." the Dark Knight confirms, "We need to get her back to Arkham, Jim. Before she hurts anyone else-- or herself. Her concern here wasn't just the compound itself, but the company that owned the warehouse, and apparently produced the weapon." A file is produced from within his cape, along with a flash drive. "I believe she is after these people, family and board members involved in D&G chemical. We're going to hit their factories, starting with the one I've traced this batch to. It's ongoing production, Jim."
The weight of that is allowed to sink in-- not Vietnam-era surplus stored cold for years, recent product destined for some other, actively profitable purpose.
"What is the deal with that thing, anyway?" ponders Jim, in reference to the huge angry plant. "Only one of those guys is talking, and when that comes up, all we get is... incoherent babbling. He's traumatized. Hell, they're all traumatized, only most of them have been doing the crime game so long, they know how to hold it in." By the tone of his voice, he's not exactly asking questions, but rather, just letting it all out. He gestures dismissively, as if an answer wasn't necessary.
Instead, Jim goes silent, paying close attention to the Dark Knight's production of intelligence on Ivy's movements. He nods his head along with the sentiment that Ivy needs to be put away, for her sake, not to mention the safety of others, and does so while rotating to keep the man in his sights out of respect. Reaching out, he accepts the file and flash drive, eyeing it for a moment. "I'll have Benson put officers on watch around their homes. Don't worry; we'll stay discreet."
With resolve, however, Gordon moves along to the real reason he summoned the crusader. "There's one man who's cooperating downstairs. Con artist, fellow named James Malhoney. I want to take him over to Gotham General, have some tests run on him, see if there's anything we can figure out about Ivy's... uh, talents. I don't know, maybe we can find a way to protect ourselves from them. Thing is, I'm worried she may anticipate that move, and do something to stop it."
"I'll keep my own people on Ivy." Batman decides, as much as informs, at the news of a stakeout. "She's too dangerous." The Dark Knight frowns, eyeslits of his cowl narrowing as he appends, "I need a better plan to take her in." Entrenched -or- on the run, the last thing they need is Ivy growing more violent still. His appeal may have only bought them a short time-- but some time is better than none. He doesn't bother trying to explain the trauma the violent men suffered at Isley's hands. Both of them know what the score is, and some nights, it's not that difficult to understand why. It only makes their crusade all the more important.
"I'll make sure to get samples and run a second battery of tests to confirm." The Caped Crusader agrees, standing vigil at the roof's edge and look out over the direction cast beneath the signal's light. "I doubt Ivy will be coming for them, but I'll make sure the subject gets to Gotham General in one piece." It's a small favor, for and old friend, with instincts that the Bat has learned to trust like they were his own.
"Thanks," notes Gordon. There's genuine gratitude in his tone, but someone not so familiar with him may miss it. There's simply too much on his mind to spare for platitudes. "We're going to move him tomorrow, 9pm. I'd like to do it sooner, but I can't risk something going down during rush hour. I dunno, maybe we'll get something. Anything." He shakes his head and turns away, reaching for another cigarette.
After lighting it, Gordon strolls up toward the roof's edge, hanging back so as not to get any second hand smoke in the Dark Knight's face. "I'll follow your lead, you follow mine. Like usual." He glances toward the Batman with a sideways smirk. "We'll put her down." He nods his head in quiet concession to their secretive friendship.
It's a dance the Bat knows well. Not far down the line, his own instincts will certainly have need of Gordon's assistance as well-- it's how it goes, duty in Gotham City never sleeps. The Caped Crusader can already draw a line to where those connections will be made necessary, but some criminal conspiracies take more evidence and care to unravel than others. He doesn't respond to the thanks, but then he never really does. The Caped Crusader simply absorbs the plan with reserved stoicism, and nods once. "Have hazardous environment gear ready for dispatch to take Ivy in."
It's all they really need to say on the subject; the rest is instinct. Like the way the Dark Knight simply steps off the edge of the roof when the Commissioner glances to blow his smoke to the opposite side, catches himself on an outcropping with a grapple line, and disappears abruptly in a rush of wind around the side of the precinct house.